'Boarding school' by Jacky Long

I was slow at all the other schools

They said I was backward; slow in my listening

So the doctor sent me to boarding school

And I had to learn their rules;

I couldn't do this, I couldn't do that

The headmistress had rules; the teachers had rules

They said: learn these strict rules

And they gave me a list of learning


Rules: wear your hair up in case of nits

P.T. kit to be washed and clean

White cream on daps; Sunday best kept clean

Bed at nine o'clock; lights out ; up at six

No talking in bed; no talking in assembly; no talk

Only talk when the teacher says

Wear our clothes

Name tags to be written and sewed in all clothes

Bathing and washing when we say:

We say, we say, we say.....


Break the rules: punishment

The slipper

To bed with nothing to eat or drink

A good telling-off: you're not getting this and you're not getting that

Stopping your milk; reports that say:

Jacky is very slow and she ought to pull up on her writing

Putting me in the corner

Because they said I didn't listen

But I didn't understand, it was all double-dutch,

You had to do things their way

They didn't give you you

But they tried to turn me into their idea of perfect.

So I was bound to be wrong from the start.

I am who I am

And I can't be their way

Now, when I am an adult and growing up

I have learnt to say: I am in charge of my own life.